WHAT started as an idea and blossomed into a fully functioning cotton gin has now turned into something even bigger.
Following a successful sixth season, Whitton’s Southern Cotton this week announced an integrated expansion, in preparation for the 2018 season.
It is a move which will benefit all growers across the Southern Valleys, as well as demonstrating the gin’s commitment to expanding cotton production in southern NSW and northern Victoria.
For Southern Cotton general manager Kate O’Callaghan, the expansion was a natural next step for the gin.
“The numbers and benefits to growing cotton as a summer crop stack up and production in the south is predicted to explode in the coming years,” she said.
“We want to be sure we have the capacity to take care all of our growers at the high level they are accustomed to.”
The company-wide expansion will be delivered across four key areas of the business.
The first is the ginning equipment itself. Southern Cotton has purchased a new gin stand/lint cleaners, which will allow the gin to consistently run at a greater rate of bales per hour, giving all growers greater access to timely gin runs.
The new stand will be installed over the off-season. Secondly, the company has purchased two pickers to assist new and small growers who are not looking to purchase a harvester yet.
The purchase will ensure those growers are able to get contract picked in a timely manner. The third prong of expansion includes the construction of a warehousing facility on site, which is currently underway.
The facility will ensure all Southern Cotton growers have the ability to store their cotton locally, as well as providing contract storage and efficient logistics on behalf of other growers and merchants. Lastly, the company has appointed an operations analyst.
“We’re committed to expanding our ginning capacity and service offering to meet the increasing needs of both our loyal clients and new growers,” Mrs O’Callaghan said.